Station, Puget Sound, Seattle, WA
Real shore duty at NavSta Puget
Sound at Sand Point in Seattle WA! And I only had to stand
duty every month and a half! Wow!
My Duties at
NavSta, Puget Sound
Mar 1984 - Mar 1987
Initially I was assigned to the Everett Home Porting
Project. I had my own desk, my own phone extension, my own
typewriter, and my own personal
computer. (My computer had a 20MB hard drive while most
computers on base had to boot DOS from floppy
disks) Wow!! At first I worked with the Everett
Shoreline Permit. Once the Everett base was approved I
went on to other mundane things such as establishing collateral
The command discovered that the base armorer, a GMG1, was an
alcoholic and needed to be replaced. I was one of the few
sailors aboard and the command asked if I would fill in until
they could get a relief ordered in. I agreed and took over
the small arms armory. Basically, I took care of the DoD police weapons (S/W
.38 specials) the base security force weapons (M1911 .45 pistols)
and honor guard weapons (M1 Garand).
I had grown up with guns and as a kid I hunted and learned fire
arms safety from my Dad, an Army Artillery Officer. I also
discovered that the Navy arms/ammunition messages were just like
our navigation NavArea
messages, so for me it was a piece of cake.
The only problem was that I was required to conduct small arms
qualifications, but, because I was not a Gunner's Mate and I was
not permitted to earn a Range Master Certificate (I tried) so I sought out transit GM personnel
who had one. Fortunatly, I was able to find experienced
GM's in transit and I have them assigned to me. Most of
them had never heard of the new Security Course of Fire, but all
I needed was for them stand behind me on the range with their
Range Master card in their pocket while I conducted the small
arms qualification for the DoD police and security forces.
I also had them performing the usual weapons maintenance.
They got to work in their rate in the armory (instead of mowing
grass or raking leaves) and I got more free time.
I had always enjoyed photography and got to know the base PH
(Photographer's Mate.) When things were things were going
smooth in the armory, I was able to help out and work in the
photo lab. I even took over the lab when the PH2 was on
leave. I took an Intel Photography course which was hosted
at our lab. One day I was paying attention to the class,
but periodically ducked into the dark room, working on a
project. When the lesson was over I told the instructor
that an assignment prevented me from attending class the next
day and asked what the next days lesson was? He said,
"Printing." I held out the still wet prints in my hand and
he said, "You pass."
One very snowy winter day I was
listening to the closure announcements on the radio.
Most public schools were closed, Ft Lewis and McChord AFB were
also closed. But there was no word about NavBase Seattle
so off I went. After driving 50 mi of slippery, frozen
roads and dodging crazy drivers I arrived safe but
frazzled. Half an hour later I was told that they were
closing the base because the roads were too dangerous and I
could go home. Just great! It was too dangerous for
folks to drive 10 miles in the snow to get to the base, but it
was OK for me to drive 50 miles in it and it was fine for me
to drive another 50 mi in the mess to go home. (Military
intelligence at work.)
people at NaveBase Seattle thought I was a PH1, while others
swore that I was a GMG1. During my reenlistment ceremony
most were shocked to discover that I was actually a QM1.
The re-enlistment cake read "GMG-PH-QM1 (SW) Husted"
At the time there was a resentment of women in the Navy, so I
asked the female LT, who was in charge of Everett Home Porting
project to preside over my re-enlistment ceremony and give the
oath. She was a good officer and a friend, but the real
reason I asked her to do it was because I knew that it would
piss off certain people. Which it did.
Because of my work in the
Armory I was awarded my second Navy/Marine Corps
Achievement Medal from ComNavSurfPac.
In March 1987 I returned to sea duty aboard USS California (CGN-36).